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How to make The Carlton Tower's strawberry tart

As Afternoon Tea Week gets underway, award-winning pastry chef Jessica Préalpato shares her recipe for The Carlton Tower’s strawberry tart

9 August 2022

Jessica Préalpato

When The Carlton Tower came to reimagine the afternoon tea served in its elegant dining area, The Chinoiserie, the team knew there was only one person for the task: winner of the World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2019, Jessica Préalpato. She is one half of the culinary creative duo (alongside legendary chef Alain Ducasse) behind the concept of ‘Desseralité’ – a principle that champions seasonal ingredients and upholds respect for nature throughout the cooking process. 

With this in mind, Jessica took inspiration from London’s historic Kew Gardens – a global centre of botanical research – to create the hotel’s new afternoon tea titled ‘A Tribute to Nature’. “Being in tune with nature allows us to explore taste in the right place at the right time. At their ripest, fruits are full of natural sugars and by extracting this, we do not have to add artificial sugars to our creations. Through this, we draw out the true layers and complexity of taste and pay homage to the depth of flavour. Instead of compromising the core flavours, we enhance them,” she says of the ethos behind the menu. Here, in celebration of Afternoon Tea Week from 8-14 August, Jessica shares her recipe for a seasonal strawberry tart.

Serves 1
Almond cream ingredients

70g ground almonds

40g honey

70g eggs 

70g butter 

Sweet dough ingredients

110g butter 

45g icing sugar 

200g traditional French flour

35g ground almonds

4g salt

10g honey

45g eggs

Diplomate classic cream ingredients

500g milk

1 vanilla pod

5 turns of pepper 

50g cornflour

80g sugar

120g egg yolks

50g butter

400g whipped cream

Assembly ingredients

Handful strawberries

A few basil sprigs

Ground pepper


Almond cream method
  1. Work the butter into a creamy consistency. Add the honey, then the almonds and then the eggs.

Sweet dough method
  1. Work the butter into a creamy consistency. Add the icing sugar and mix well, then mix in the rest of the ingredients.

  2. Chill the mixture for 1 hour.

  3. Spread it out thinly, then mould into a circle and bake at 150°C for 14 minutes.

  4. Put the almond cream into the bottom of the tart and bake again for 6 minutes at 160°C.

Diplomate classic cream method
  1. Infuse the milk with vanilla pods and pepper.

  2. Beat the egg yolks and sugar together, then whisk in the cornflour.

  3. Slowly add the milk and mix to a crème patissiere consistency (thick and custard-like). 

  4. Add the butter, mix until smooth and then let it cool down. 

  5. Once cold, fold the whipped cream in, making sure that it isn’t too soft. 

Assembly method
  1. Layer the diplomate classic cream over the almond cream in the tart base.

  2. Add fresh sliced strawberry, then top with a little basil and finish with a sprinkle of pepper.


A Tribute to Nature Afternoon Tea is available at The Carlton Tower on Wednesday – Friday at 3pm, and on weekends between 12:30pm and 4:30pm.

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